One team that's interested in free agent point guard Jrue Holdiay? The Dallas Mavericks. League sources say members of the Mavericks organization view Holiday as a free agent target this summer. Holiday will likely command top dollar on the market and Dallas would probably have to clear some cap space to make Holiday a competitive offer. New Orleans would also like to retain Holiday and can offer him more money than any other team. Some in the Knicks organization are fans of the 26-year-old, though it's unclear just how strong that interest is from New York. The length and amount of Holiday's contract would likely take New York out of the running.
Don’t hold your breath for this one to come to fruition because it simply dismisses too much logic.
Mark Cuban stated last month that acquiring a pass-first point guard is a priority for the Mavericks. Holiday is considered one of the more attainable and above average point guards in free agency because many doubt Chris Paul, Stephen Curry and Kyle Lowry will leave larger contract sums on the table in order to switch teams. So, match made in heaven? No, I don’t think so.
Let’s start with the obvious: This is the first instance of Holiday’s name being linked to the Mavericks so it’s difficult to imagine him ranking all that high on their wish list. Teams are known for targeting a slew of players in trade and free agency scenarios to round out options h, i, j and k. Remember that recently leaked photo of Orlando’s War Room on twitter?
I believe the Orlando Magic accidentally tweeted out their trade and free agent targets on the white board pic.twitter.com/pCJh3CjJDu— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) April 4, 2017
That’s a chock full of names the Magic identified an interest in at the time, yet the list didn’t appear to have accounted much for reality or likelihood. Similarly, Begley’s phrase, ‘view Holiday as a free agent target,’ reads about as nondescript as it sounds, and I think there’s very good reason for this — Dallas isn’t overly excited about Jrue Holiday.
Scanning up and down the Mavericks roster, who would you characterize as the face of the franchise? Yeah, I guess it’s a tossup between on-his-last-legs Dirk Nowitzki and never-should-be-asked-to-lead-a-team Harrison Barnes.
"We don't have Minnesota's star power," Cuban said in an interview in early April. "We still need to add. It would be great if we made Harrison our second-best player. But that's not easy to do. We'll see what happens. We're going to keep on trying to get better. Instead of just hoping guys come back healthy, we have guys who are going to get better."
The Mavericks are desperate to add a star with Nowitzki’s retirement just around the corner and Barnes is better suited as a complimentary player. Sound familiar? Holiday is another player who has often failed to grab the bull by the horns and show he’s capable of being the main option.
Oh, I’m sure Rick Carlisle would be ecstatic to add Holiday, who would be his best defensive point guard since Jason Kidd left, but it’s difficult to imagine the Mavericks looking to spend what will likely be all of their remaining cap space on a player who has failed to stand out of a crowd during his 8-year career. Dallas needs to keep their options open for the guy, not a guy.
Also, I think it’s key to focus on the pass-first words out of Cuban’s mouth. With Wesley Matthews and Barnes on the wings, two players who need a lot of help in getting deep perimeter shots off, a Steve Nash type makes infinitely more sense. Holiday is more akin to a player who prefers to operate at his own rhythm, one that involves him looking regularly for his own shot. Remember Jrue’s immense struggles when DeMarcus Cousins first arrived in New Orleans? Yep, Holiday’s lack of confident floor general skills would drive Carlisle nuts. He’s not similar to a Jason Kidd or Jose Calderon, point guards who acted as an extension of their head coach out on the court.
Do you know who could though? Ricky Rubio, a point guard who has reportedly been available for what seems like forever now. And to add to the intrigue, Rubio changed sports agents a few days ago from Dan Fegan, who is mired in legal trouble, to Jeff Schwartz, both good friends to the Dallas Mavericks organization. For instance, Schwartz has repped Barnes, Kidd, Deron Williams, Devin Harris, Richard Jefferson, Tyson Chandler and other former Mavericks.
Although the prevailing notion is Dallas won’t trade their 9th pick of the 2017 NBA draft for Rubio, how much would that change if De’Aaron Fox, Dennis Smith and Frank Ntilikina are off the board? Or, what if the Timberwolves decide to lower their asking price this summer?
Things can go any which way for Dallas, but the one route I’m having the hardest time envisioning is watching Holiday ultimately play for Mark Cuban. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn Jrue’s name was intentionally put out there yesterday just to downplay the Mavericks desire to see Rubio in their uniform.
Strap in everyone, I’m sure this won’t be the last time Holiday will be connected to another team out of the blue before the upcoming free agency period comes to a close.